Every Friday, I have a reminder to update 10 of my passwords to my online accounts. I value the safety of my identity and want it to be hard for hackers to create chaos in my online life.
Back in the day (pre college), I used to have one password and I used it for everything. It didn’t matter if it was my login for my ESPN account or my bank, my password was the same.
Then I got a randomly generated password for my college email account and once I had memorized it, I started using that password for anything I needed a ‘secure’ password. Basically any account that had my banking information, now had that password.
This is particularly bad, because if someone got that one password, they could get into all of my accounts.
I liked having one strong password that I could remember for everything as it was easy to log into sites very quickly.
Then, one day, my eBay account was hacked and someone purchased a $500 phone from my account. After getting that all cleared up, eBay reset my password and I now had a third password to use to set up online accounts.
So, when I’d sign up for a new online profile, I’d pick one of the three. Then when I came back to log into the site, I’d only have to try three different ones.
Fast forward to last year.
I started using a program called 1Password to start generating and saving new passwords for my accounts. It’s got a great feature built in that you can control the ‘formula’ of your password. You can set how many characters and how many numbers or symbols make up your password.
After generating the password, it will prompt you to save your username / password in the 1Password vault.
Last year I was really good with adding my accounts into 1Password, but I wasn’t good about making sure my passwords were unique to each individual account.
That’s where Password Friday comes in to play.
Currently I have 335 usernames and passwords stored in my 1Password account and a little more than 100 are older than one year old.
I use the Security Audit to find my oldest accounts and update the passwords to about 10 accounts each Friday. The oldest accounts = the accounts that have been stored the longest without the password being updated.
I’ve been working at this for a few months now and it’s actually been a fun activity to start a Friday. It’s sometimes a challenge to find the ‘Reset my password’ link so I make a game of it to see how fast I can update a password.
My thought is that I will continue until all of my passwords are unique and then I’ll start over because the passwords I changed first will have remained the same for about a year.
I’ve also been closing accounts that I no longer need and merging duplicate entries in 1Password.
I’ll save how to user 1Password for another post, and highly recommend you to start using a tool like 1Password or LastPass for storing all of your passwords.
Today we wrapped up our team meetup in Austin and we all headed our separate ways.
One of the benefits of working at Automattic is that we can choose flights with times/layovers that are most convenient for us.
Today’s my wife’s birthday and I planned on getting home by 5pm so we could celebrate by going out to dinner.
Everything was going well until I got to the Dallas airport (DFW). Our flight was originally delayed by 30 minutes. And then 30 more minutes. It finally ended up boarding more than 2 hours late and we left nearly 3 hours late.
Now I’m going to have to book it home to have a chance to see my daughter before she goes to sleep.
I can understand that weather related delays will happen, but my flight was delayed because our plane was parked somewhere else and we had to wait for two hours for someone to drive the plane to the gate.
Yes, both dinner and a movie. The unique feature about this theater is that you can order food and it’s brought directly to your table. The seats are arranged like a regular movie theater, except each row of chairs has a table in front of it.
It was definitely a unique experience, but I don’t think I’m sold on eating while watching a movie.
The lights were turned down low and it was nearly impossible to see your food. Perhaps I chose the wrong ‘movie food’ but I felt slightly challenged eating my salad.
You Miss Parts of the Movie
Every time I looked down to fill my fork with more food, I missed a few seconds of the movie. Had I ordered popcorn, I could have easily shoveled in the kernels without taking my eyes off the screen.
Takes Longer to Eat
Our orders were taken before the movie started and it probably took me 25 minutes to eat my salad, as I tried to take bites during the parts of the movie that didn’t have too much action.
Exactly one year ago today, I started full-time at Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com.
It’s been a crazy ride, filled with travel, making new friends and learning a ton about WordPress.com; and I love every minute of it.
My official title is Happiness Engineer, which means I’m on the customer support team and help users figure out how to use WordPress to build their websites. I communicate almost exclusively with my team via text and even all of our training documents are stored in an online Field Guide. The initial page of our Field Guide says ‘Welcome to the Chaos.’ I smiled and thought, how chaotic could it really be?
With an outsiders perspective, it could seem like the way that we work doesn’t make sense and how could it possibly be productive. Our flexible schedules (which mine changes daily), to working with coworkers who live on different continents, to booking last minute travel to hangout with team mates have all become the new normal.
In the last year
– I’ve travelled to Las Vegas, San Fransisco, Barbados, Milwaukee, Dallas, Park City, Austin, and Ann Arbor for either team meetups or conferences which I spoke. Total distance travelled: 16,000+ miles.
– I’ve attended five WordCamps, in three different states and spoke at 3 of them.
– I’ve gained a new perspective on internet safety and I’m working to make all 400+ online profiles have unique passwords.
– I’ve helped thousands of users make their website better.
– I spent a three month rotation with the VaultPress team, helping users backup their self-hosted versions of WordPress.
– I’ve created and published 52 episodes of Your Website Engineer podcast. This is a passion project of mine and it keeps me plugged into the WordPress community.
– I’ve found dozens of bugs in our software and had them fixed (usually within minutes) by our amazing developers.
– I’ve acquired an entire wardrobe full of WordPress branded clothes and not sure why I still feel the need for ‘regular’ clothes, since I don’t leave the house (unless traveling) 90% of the work week.
Overall, this has been one of the craziest years for me and then throw in having our first baby in March and it’s been a heck of a chaotic ride.
Sound like something you’d be interested in? Apply today we are always hiring.
The contest is set up so you can vote once per day until Dec 14. It’s pretty annoying that you have to put in your birthday and an email address each day to vote and we recommend using a generic junk email account! :)
The picture below is the picture you will see on the voting link!
PS – If you’d like a daily reminder to vote, let me know and I can make that happen!
In an effort to get to know each other’s work days better, and to share publicly what it is like to work for a distributed company where most of us work from home, some of us at Automattic will be publishing “A Day in the Life” posts on our personal blogs throughout this week. The posts will be tagged #a8cday if you’d like to follow along.
5:30 – Head downstairs to my office with my water bottle to start the day.
Do I like getting up this early? Not really. But with an almost 7-month old baby in the house, it’s important to get my day started early.
I’ve closed down most things from last night, so I open up the ticket queue. Before I dive into answering tickets, I open up Focus@Will. It’s an online service that plays word free music and gets me in the zone to work. I typically set the timer for 25 minutes and start working and that’s exactly what I did this morning.
Start answering tickets starting with the oldest. 13hrs old, 20 in the queue.
Normally there would would hundreds of support requests to attend to, but I’m on a rotation with the VaultPress Team. The VaultPress volume is less, but the tickets are much trickier and usually take much longer to resolve.
A few ticket examples from this morning:
– How can I cancel my account?
– My website isn’t backing up, PLEASE HELP!
– Is it possible to backup up multiple installations of WordPress on my server?
Over the course of 3 Focus@Will sessions, there are only 3 left in the queue.
7:00 – Moved to the dining room table. My wife is starting to get ready for work and I’m on baby listening duty.
Start reading internal posts (also referred to as P2 posts, based on P2 Theme to catch up what’s been going on across the company since yesterday
Saw the notification about the new version of the Beta VaultPress iOS app, so I install it / start to play with it and test out the new features. Cool new features on the horizon.
8:00 – Breakfast and play time with daughter. Anxiously wait for in home baby sitter to come so I can get back to work :)
9:00 – Grab my computer and head down to my office.
Today’s lesson: loops. Focused on for and while loops and how to print text to a browser. I’m getting good with console.log("Print this out");
10:00 – Browse other a8cday posts to get inspiration / see how my colleagues are creating their blog posts.
10:30 – Back to the ticket queue. Sitting at 18 resolved posts right now
Second ticket in came from a colleague pointing out that a reminder email we send out is slightly outdated. After a brief chat on Slack (our internal communication tool) I posted to the VaultPress team’s P2 (our internal blog) to let our team know and for us to create a todo to get it fixed.
11:00 – Quick break to jump rope. 52 consecutive jumps and a few grapes as a snack. With all the traveling in the last 3 weeks (only been home 2 days), I’m slowly getting back into doing physical activity inside. I’ve found jump roping, pushups and pull-ups are great to do in batches when I need a break.
Keeping answering tickets in the queue. Finally get the queue back down to 5.
12:00 – Few errands and lunch.
2:00 – Back to it. This time at standing desk. Usually I spend more time at my standing desk, but I’m slowly getting back into it after being ‘lazy’ for a few weeks.
Pings from coworkers distract me from working on my WordPress Project.
I’m one of the go-to people when there is a WordPress.com podcasting question, so I chat about podcasting for awhile.
I realize that I have too much going on today to spend time on a project right now, so I move that block of time until tomorrow and spend more time answering tickets.
During this time, I continue to work for 25 minutes and break for 5 minutes. During the breaks, I refill my water bottle, do misc. tasks around the house, or jump rope. At one point, I got to 72 consecutive jumps :)
4:00 – One more read thru P2 posts and email and then tidy up my crazy ridiculous to do list and I’m wrapped up for the day.
Babysitter is leaving, so it’s time to go play with blocks and other toys.
That’s my day in a nutshell! My days vary based on the availability of our babysitter. Sound like something you’d enjoy? Apply today we’re always hiring.
Ever since we’ve moved into our house (August 2010), we’ve hated our outdoor living space.
Our house had a 12′ by 12′ concrete slab, which wasn’t quite big enough for our six person table, grill and tower garden. When we had people over, we brought out the folding chairs and table and placed them on the uneven grass.
Well, today is the last day for the old concrete slab. Tomorrow a local company, Deal’s Landscaping, will be cleaning out the old and preparing for our new paver patio.
The company I work for, Automattic, is a distributed company. That means our employees live and work all over the world. A few times each year, we meet up to spend time working and having fun together. I’ve just returned from a meetup in Barbados, where we worked on the email subscription feature of WordPress.com and Jetpack.
As most of you know, I’m a huge WordPress fan, even so much so that I now work for Automattic, the company behind WordPress.
For the last few years, I’ve had a goal of contributing to WordPress core. Basically I wanted to find a bug in the code somewhere and notify the team and have the bug fixed.
Well, today is that day.
It all started yesterday when a user wrote in with a problem with their website. With their current theme, when they added the form for people to subscribe to their blog, the text box was completely white, without a border and the text inside the box was white as well.
Yesterday I got a call from our credit card company validating an $8.90 charge to a glass stemware company in Alabama, uh, no.
After a few minutes on the phone and validating all the other recent charges were legit, the card number was shut down. It’s not a big deal, I don’t have to pay for the fraudulent charge and a new card is on my way tomorrow.
But it is annoying for two reasons:
First, I have my credit card number memorized so it’s quick and convenient for me to purchase things online. I memorized it after several times trying to purchase something on my computer and I didn’t have my wallet with me.
Second, I now have to go thru and update my payment information for all of the companies that I have automatically drafted each month to our card. If I were to guess, I probably have 15 different places I now have to update once I get our new card.
Just a quick post to share with our family and friends our precious bundle of joy that arrived 2 weeks ago! Kenley Rae Hartzler was born on March 12th at 5:03 pm. She weighed 8 lbs 3 oz and was 21.5 inches long. She is going to be tall like her folks! Can’t believe she is 2 weeks old today, while we might only be getting 4-5 hours of sleep in spurts on a good night, it has been such a joy and we are so thankful for her! It is such an amazing miracle of God. We still can’t fathom how tiny cells grow to be this over 8 lb beautiful baby. We pray that God would use her life in a mightly way for His glory. Thank you for all your prayers and support, continued prayers for our transition!
Today, a broad coalition of interest groups, websites, and people around the world are joining together to fight back against government surveillance. We’re supporting the “Day We Fight Back” on WordPress.com and have created a banner that you can easily add to your WordPress.com blog to get involved, too.
The “Stop NSA Surveillance” banner shows support for this important cause and provides a link to a page of resources to help visitors to contact members of the US Congress to support much needed anti-surveillance legislation. For more information, please visit thedaywefightback.org.
How to add the banner to your site
Here’s how to add the banner to your site in three steps:
In your WordPress.com dashboard, go to Settings → Protest NSA Surveillance.
Click on the checkbox labelled Protest Enabled.
Click on the Save Changes button for the change to take effect.
I say that today it’s official, even though I’ve been working with the awesome Automatticians for the last six weeks. Secretly, I’ve been going through a trial rotation to make sure that I am a good fit for the company.
The last six weeks have been incredible. I’m excited to join the distributed team of amazing people who live all over the world!
Each day, I’ll be doing my part to make the web a better place. The Happiness Engineering position is a unique mix of tech support, bug reporting, feature testing, training, and documentation for Automattic’s products and services.
I’ve spent the last three years learning and teaching about WordPress and today, I get to be part of the team that can change the way we publish online.